4 Office Design Tips That'll Boost Employee Happiness

Everyone dreams of having an office space that compels them to leap out of bed and race to work in the morning. But what constitutes a workplace that keeps workers happy? 

The Office Genie Workplace Happiness Report discovered that office design is the greatest environmental factor impacting employees' level of contentment, with good office design boosting happiness by 33%.

And happy workers are good workers. Forbes reports that staff productivity grows by up to 20% and sales teams can perform by as much as 37% better when everyone's feeling their best

With happiness proving to have such an impact on the success of your business, an office re-design could be just the ticket to boost employee contentment. These four tips explore how you can get started.

Bring the Outdoors In

The average Briton now spends 53 years of their life indoors. 53 years. Not only is this a grim statistic – it's wholly unnatural, and can lead to health problems like insomnia and depression. 

Combat the indoors and tend to your workers' hard-wired biophilia by introducing plant life and natural materials to your workspace. 

You don't have to install an Eden-esque rainforest in your office for your staff to feel the benefit, either. A study from 2014 found that when staff were always at least in view of plant life from their desks, productivity leaped 15%.

Not only are plants aesthetically pleasing, they're also a great way of keeping the air in your office fresh and free from pollutants. Win-win.

How did interior office design get to where it is today? Take a look at our  timeline to find out.

The Power of Colour

Ever since the German poet Wolfgang von Goeth published his book, Theory of Colours, in 1810, much has been said about the unique power of colour to affect mood and emotion. Red can boost performance, green calms and relaxes, and black connotes strength and authority.

When it comes to designing your workspace, a keen consideration of colour is crucial to keep your staff feeling positive and energised. Although white is often the go-to option because it gives your space a light and airy feel, it's recommended that you break up the space with more interesting colours too.

A bright red wall in a team meeting room can help stimulate creativity, while a deep blue in your break area will help your staff relax during their lunch break.

Mix Up Your Spaces

It's all too common for business owners to find the perfect office space and then cram it with as many desks and chairs as possible for the sake of maximising efficiency. This is not the best course of action, however.

Providing a range of spaces for your workforce to inhabit is vital to keeping them feeling refreshed and happy. At the very least, you need to offer a communal break area that projects – through design – enough difference from your main workspace that staff members feel like they're away from business for a while.

Consider installing furniture that promotes social interaction, like large dining tables and intimately positioned sofas, to keep staff connected and build team cohesion.

Offering a variety of options for workspaces is another great idea, if you have the space available. 'Hot-desking', or giving your staff the autonomy to choose where they sit and work, can have huge psychological benefits.

Comfort Over Style

Companies who plan to refurbish their offices, particularly those with large budgets, can be tempted to take a leaf out of Google's playbook. By which we mean installing ball pits and tube slides instead of seating and stairs.

Trust us, the novelty of these 'funky' office design ideas wears very thin very quickly. To ensure your staff are truly happy at work, you're far better off providing them with comfortable furniture that supports their day-to-day activities.

Don't scrimp on office chairs, especially if that's where your employees spend most of their time, and make sure their desks are large enough to not feel cramped. Failing to provide adequate and functional furniture can lead to serious health issues down the line, costing your business money and damaging your staff's well-being.


With workplace design playing such a crucial role in employee positivity, and positivity playing such an important role in productivity, your business can't afford to settle for a mediocre office space.

Add to that the fact that 76% of millennials make initial judgements about your company based on how your office looks, and it becomes even clearer that design can no longer go ignored – if you wish to attract the latest and greatest talent.

Order a copy of our free, comprehensive fit-out guide to learn for yourself how an office redesign can boost your employees morale and your bottom line.

A brief history of office design

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